What's your favorite distro, and why?

Dan Egli ddavidegli at gmail.com
Wed Dec 4 23:58:42 MST 2013

On December 3, 2013, Michael Torrie wrote:

> I used Maildir-formatted e-mail back with a Fedora Core 1 box. I never

> had the dependency problems you state. Also, I don't believe courier-imap

> ever was a Fedora standard package, so you can't blame Fedora for your

> dependency issues. I was probably using an early version of Dovecot, or

> maybe I just built courier myself..

Well, I know I didn't build courier myself. I know I used an RPM. I'm
fairly sure I used apt-get to install it from the standard FC2 repos, but I
could be wrong (and I know apt-get is usually debian based, I had apt for
rpm installed because this was an older box that took for frigging EVER to
run yum, where as apt ran just fine). Either way, I did specifically state
that this was back in the days of FC2, so a lot could have changed between
then and now. :)

> That said, none of the dependencies you mention are really a problem,

> nor really a waste. Despite your implication you're not really

> installing all those database systems. Rather you're just installing

> very small shared libraries for potentially accessing those database

> systems (IE the API is the only thing installed. And the cost of

> breaking all those small library dependencies out into separate packages

> is just too high. You don't want to have to have a full and complete

> but different version of courier-imap for each permutation of software

> combination! I know that goes against your gentoo sensibilities! :)

I'm quite familiar with the differences between say, openldap-<version> and
openldap-libs-<version> and you're right that many were just the libs. But
if my memory is correct (I could be wrong!) openldap wasn't just the -libs
package required. Perhaps there wasn't a -libs package available to whoever
designed the RPM (whether it was designed by the Fedora maintainers or
someone else), but my memory says I had to install openldap itself (the
full package) to get courier's RPM happy. And the point wasn't having all
these DMBS packages installed, but the fact that this was a very small hard
disk drive (< 4GB HDD if I recall, this WAS more than 12 years ago) so I
had to REALLY prioritize what went on there, since it was a combo system to
be my home e-mail server plus my print/file server, plus the samba server,
plus the internet gateway. Those packages, just the libs and what ever else
was required, used a large chunk of my HDD that I could have used for other

And I'm also familiar with building RPMs on systems like Fedora. I have
personally designed custom RPMs for programs like exim because I wanted to
get just the right feature set. I can't say I've ever used git, but doing
configure/make/make install is something I've done quite a few times.

I do understand your point about trying to install things straight from
tarballs though. Certainly doable on a few packages or only a couple
servers. But not on a large setup. That's partially (_I_ think) why "Roll
your own Linux" never really got too popular. :) Imagine downloading and
compiling EVERYTHING from scratch, including glibc and gcc and init (or
Systemd in more modern systems). Doable? Oh, absolutely. Doable on a large
scale? Not so much.

--- Dan

On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM, Dan Egli <ddavidegli at gmail.com> wrote:

> On December 3, 2013, Levi Pearson wrote:
> > If I was going to spend a bunch of time installing and learning a new
> > distro, I'd try out NixOS (http://nixos.org/) which has my favorite
> > concept of all the distributions. It treats package managment and
> > configuration as part of the same system,
> That sounds rather bizzare to me. But maybe I'm misunderstanding you on
> that. I'll look over the site a bit, but perhaps you can explain better how
> this package managment and configuration works combined?
> Out of curosity, if it's a distribution of Linux, why are they calling it
> something else (NixOS vs. Nix Linux)? Or, is it not so much Linux as a *NIX
> O/S? That's what I'd guess from the name, but I could be wrong.
> --- Dan
> On Thu, Dec 5, 2013 at 5:48 AM, Michael Torrie <torriem at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 12/03/2013 11:10 AM, Lonnie Olson wrote:
>> > * Mint
>> > - Ugly, old, backwards UI choices
>> Sounds like a plus in my book.  Although Mint may be the distro
>> developing Cinnamon and Mate, the big distros now support them both out
>> of the box. Fedora for sure has them both.
>> Despite the age of the core technologies, Mate+Compiz work best for me.
>>  And Mate can live alongside Gnome 3 and Cinnamon, so I'm not giving up
>> anything. I still use some Gnome 3 apps.
>> Cinnamon is okay, but I like the customizations I have made in Compiz,
>> and I have to have a pager that shows at least window outlines like
>> Mate/Gnome2 does.  I've tried to put in a feature request to Cinnamon
>> for the pager thing, but they didn't seem to understand just what I was
>> getting at.  Ahh well.  If anyone knows an extension that can give me
>> this feature, I would very much like to know about it.
>> /*
>> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
>> Unsubscribe: http://plug.org/mailman/options/plug
>> Don't fear the penguin.
>> */

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